Five Things We Need to Leave Behind in 2012

by Stacia L. Brown

Leave BehindAnother new year is upon us! As usual, we’re all looking forward, some more eager than others to put 2012 in our rear view. But before we go hurtling into a brave new annum, it might be a good idea to take stock of a few trends it’d be best to leave behind.

Here are a few of ours. Feel free to add your picks in the comments section.

1. The Return of the Box Fade
Let’s tell all the young men in our lives that the ’90s were a wonderful decade that wrought many memorable and exciting trends like chokers and dark lip liner and roughneck R&B. But just like we’re totally okay letting those things slip into the recesses of history, we will not miss the day that “high-top” or “box” fade also ends up on that pile. To hasten it, take the teens you know who are currently rockin’ a box fade to the barber shop before Jan. 1.

2. Choreographed Wedding Dances
It isn’t that these aren’t the cutest things ever. It’s that we just need to face facts: is anyone ever gonna be able to top the great daddy-daughter dance of 2011 or the coldest wedding dance ever? Doubtful. Let’s let this trend go out on top.

3. Knee-Jerk Blame-Shifting on Social Media
As was evidenced with Sandy Hook and so many unimaginable tragedies before it, social media users have a tendency to go into immediate under-informed opinion mode, speculating endlessly about who’s at fault. In 2012, rather than blaming legislature, big business, mental health, race, gender, nationality, or class within mere minutes of the news breaking, let’s let the fact finders gather accurate updates, let those who’ve lost someone grieve, and let our accusations simmer before unleashing them into the chaos.

2012 was a good year for Drake. He earned his high school diploma and saw his YOLO chant reach a fever pith. But now that the term has become synonymous with making the worst life decisions possible under the guise of seizing the moment, it might be time to let that li’l phenomenon go.

5. “Ratchet”
It seems that every few years we come up with a term that intends to define unsavory behavior along cultural lines. While we’re glad “ghetoo” and “hood” seem to be slowly fazing out, it might be nice if “ratchet” also went the way of obsolescence.

What do you think? Which trends and terminology do you want to leave behind in 2013?


    1) what’s wrong with high top fades? So you mean, these dumb gay-ass mowhawks are not on the list, but high top fades are?

    5) what’s wrong with calling someone ghetto? We need terms to describe people engaging in despicable behavior.

  • Rue

    Ranting and then typing LOL. For example: “Spike Lee needs to get off his midget a$$ and make more movies. LOL” (see: comments under the Spike Lee article, 99.9% of Twitter). Help me out here: What’s there to laugh out loud about, your arrogance or your stupidity?

  • African Mami

    I like box fades!!

  • Beautiful Mic

    #3 So, you want us to rely on others to find facts and form opinions for us? Why should I rely on the facts other people find in order to form my own opinion?

    What about relying on common sense?

    What about bias, corporate funded, research? We’re supposed to rely that, totally trust the purveyors of information 100%? I think not? Never!

  • Beautiful Mic

    Item #6 – Stop living your life by trends, fads, others’ rules, secret codes, etc…

    Item #7 – Form your own d!mn conclusions without relying on someone else, on society at large, because the blind will lead the blind.

  • EST. 1986

    As far as terminology –

    Female being used as a noun
    Relevant not being used with a subject – For Example – “Oh, Tamar Braxton ain’t relevant!” Okay, what is she not relevant to?
    BM referring to ALL woman and girls as h*es and b*tches
    You mad?
    Tho – For Example – “You are so pretty tho!”
    Everything being a ‘lifestyle’ or ‘flow’ – For Example – ‘work flow’, ‘gym flow’, ‘champagne life’, ‘tour life’

    As far as trends –

    I am still waiting for the leggings/tights as pants trend to go away. Too many women and girls have adopted this trend when they do not even have the body to pull it off.
    Men wearing oversized puffer vests with an oversized hoody
    Sagging pants/shorts
    Men wearing their hats propped and cocked on the side of their head
    Women wearing heels with every outfit
    Misogyny on Twitter that seems to always be directed toward BW and BG
    People drinking and promoting Moscato not knowing what type of wine it is.
    Banks charging folks service fees if they don’t maintain a certain balance or have direct deposit
    Every other random man on the street who asks me, “Hi you doing?” as a pick-up line
    People waking up and telling their Facebook ‘friends’ that they want to ‘thank God for waking me up’.
    Referring to women as ‘young lady’ despite her age.
    Sneaker stores that don’t actually sell women’s sneakers, but heels and flats while the men’s section is full of sneakers.

  • myblackfriendsays

    That coldest wedding dance ever was pretty cold. I’d seen it in my news feed many times, but never watched it until now.

  • Rue

    I could kiss you but I guess that would be creepy…
    Love everything u said!

  • Yb

    As for terminology that should disappear can we also add:

    “Beat the pu$$y up”
    “Jump and up and down in the pu$$y”
    “He/She can get it” (whatever it is)
    And “Smash”

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  • Keepitreal

    Yes, yes, yes on the “ratchet” WTF started this one? There should be a rule, you can’t give a word new meaning if you don’t even know the original.

    -Calling women “female”
    -”Get your life” (Ummm, wtf are you taking talking points from a muppet?)
    -Swag (see my first sentence)
    -”You mad?” (what happened to the “are”?)

    Onto fashion

    -Sagging pants (It’s been 30 years now, come on)
    -Wearing a bandeau bra as a top / Crop tops (Unless you’re selling…)
    -Pum pum shorts (See above)
    -Leggings as pants. (See above)
    -Flip flops as shoes (outside of the beach)
    -Denim cut off shorts (ugly in the 90s and uglier now)
    -Nerd glasses (This is way overdone and if you’re already unattractive nerd glasses are not helping your cause)
    -Those TACKY hoop earrings with the spikes (Why are you mimicking tackiness from a reality show wifey)
    -Lady Gaga heels (W..T….F, 1. you are not Lady Gaga 2. You’re not in a music video 3. I know you’re in pain!)
    -Blue/Grey/Ashy lipstick (I mean really?)

    I have more but it’s all I can think of for now. Lol

  • Jaslene

    What’s wrong with being gay?

  • Jaslene

    I agree with everything except “You mad?”.

  • Allie

    Smash the homie
    Take you b*tch
    She wants the D (say d*ck we’re not in 8th grade anymore)
    Cray (cray cray)

  • Jaslene

    What are pum pums? Also the hoop earrings with spikes are cute.

  • Kacey

    Here’s My Top 3:

    (1) ALL(!) of the “Wives” TV franchises. I’m tired of their contrived drama and cat-fights;

    (2) Tamar Braxton! She is a modern day Stepin Fetchit. One can only hope she gets whiplash from all that neck-rolling.

    (3) Twitter. For giving every ignoramus on the planet a platform to spread foolishness, 140 characters at a time.

  • jo

    I must be lame because I love the high top and box fades. (kanye shrug)

  • binks

    LOL well damn…you and others covered it all so there is nothing to add!

  • Mademoiselle

    “Ratchet” is the ghetto pronunciation and misspelling of wretched. If we’re calling kettles black, how about we not be the pots.

  • Mademoiselle

    - Answering your own rhetorical questions (ex: Am I going to answer my own question? Yes. Do I think it’s somehow cool to state my case this way? Absolutely!)
    - “Have a (or several) seat(s)”
    - Saggy skinny jeans
    - Skinny jeans (bring back the basic straightleg please)
    - See-through outfits (I’m sure your man thinks your bra/panties are cute enough for the both of us — cover it up for my sake, please)
    - Deep-V shirts on men (I hate man cleavage even if it’s made of muscle)
    - The bangs Beyonce wears (I don’t know their official name, but they’re the ones that look like what was hot back in the 5th grade: big curl, straight cut, sitting on your eyelids)
    - Internet dictionary wars (I don’t care if someone mistakenly uses their instead of there or they’re, but it irritates the mess out of me to have to read a spell check response instead of a response to the actual post)
    - Sorry to the feminist Clutchettes, but I’m ready for the list of feminist rules to get a little shorter too (I like being called a lady, and I’ve been feeling some kinda way since I learned it was no longer feminist-ly correct)
    - Grown women at my job who refuse to return a smile (there’s one lady in particular who has never spoken to me in the 3 years I’ve been there and I could be coming around the corner and SEE that she had a pleasant look on her face just before she sees me, and once she does her face sours up — WTH! I want my hello!!!)
    - People that are only your friends as long as you’re doing all the work (the ones you always have to go to their place to hang, or the ones you always have to call/text/email first, or the ones that will ask you for all kinds of help with their lives but get missing when you need something, etc)
    - Bipartisan/partisan everything — it’s time to start thinking Uninationally
    - Tearing each other down in comment sections (name calling, blame games, etc)
    - Calling anything that’s being sold a lifestyle (ex: “It’s not a phone, it’s a lifestyle”, “It’s not a drink, it’s a lifestyle”, “It’s not a car, it’s a lifestyle”) AND going into debt or neglecting your life obligations to maintain said lifestyle

  • EST. 1986

    Oh my goodness! It drives me up a wall when people punctuate everything they type with ‘LOL’.

  • EST. 1986

    Yes! I forgot to add those.

  • marloweovershakespeare

    My additions?
    -Texting to date and breakup
    -Unprofessionalism in a professional environment
    -Openly disrespecting the Lord and Savior while having all the reverence and silence for other faiths.

  • marloweovershakespeare

    Oh, and one more thing to leave behind (I left it behind in March)…


  • chanela17

    LOL i had to google pum pum shorts.

    im mad they have a song about them – _ -

    i’m so sick of the nerd glasses too! it was cute when the first few people did it. but when everybody on facebook and instagram (hell, i don’t even get on instagram and i see it) has on nerd glasses and a caption that says ” hehe im a nerd”, it’s wack.

    i don’t get why choreographed wedding dances have to go tho! funny how nobody was saying that when that chris brown wedding dance became famous! smh everybody thought it was cute…as soon as black people (who i’m sure started the alternative wedding dance/entrance stuff) then suddenly it’s considered ghetto. smh

  • dirtychai

    1. Losing our cultural icons to tragic demise

    2. Stand Your Ground

    3. Blaming Obama for everything bad

    4. Crediting Obama for everything good

    5. 85% of the Black women on TV. The other 15% can stay.

    Bonus: The obsession over $4.00 cupcakes. I don’t understand.


    I agree with 98.7% of what you’re saying. Great comment! Now, as for the Internet dictionary wars, I have to say it irks me everytime people whose native language is English cannot tell the difference between THERE and THEIR or THEY’RE, YOUR and YOU’RE, ITS and IT’S, WHOSE and WHO’S, etc. These aren’t typos most of the times, some people simply don’t and they need to refresh THEIR grammar or spelling.

    Oh, I don’t know if ‘Uninationally’ is an actual English adverb or if you coined it but I like it.


    That’s a very interesting list. Kinda long but I like it, THOUGH. Oops

  • Mademoiselle

    Fair enough — I’m just someone who doesn’t care about the typos since I figure comment sections are informal anyway. I’ll take 98.7%, though. :)

    Uninational isn’t a word, but I wish it was.

  • 2013

    I hate the word ratchet. I hate when people say it in every sentence, ughh. Lacefront wigs look a mess. I hate the word “swag”. Gets on my nerves. “Get your life” is stupid.


    YOLO is synonymous with Carpe Diem. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s sad that some have been doing stupid stuff by adding yolo to it but essentially it is not a bad thing.

    Here’s my Five Things We Need to Leave Behind in 2012:

    1. Rapper 50 Cent’s excessive use of the adjective ACTUAL. He uses ‘actual’ in every interview like it’s going out of style. It’s so annoying that I think I may actually have caught that actual habit.

    2. Saggy Skinny jeans on men.

    3. Keep it real/Keep it gangsta/Keep it 100

    4. Dark-skinned vs Light-skinned BS

    5. Wearing leggings in a work environment or even in public (some don’t really have the appropriate body type for leggings).

    Honourable mention: people (women) of color. Why not just say Black, African-American or African if that’s what you really mean. I still don’t understand how person of color is a better term than colored.

  • Keepitreal

    No!!! Say it isn’t so LMFAO, that is even worse than I thought. I thought it was a play on the actual word ratchet as in “Company A decided to ratchet down the cost of production by going overseas. ”


    @Jaslene pum pum shorts are teeny tiny barely covering the behind shorts. Lol

  • Lauren

    I’m still saying ratchet. I was saying before it was popular (like in 2009). I’ll say it again- ratchet!

  • Mademoiselle

    LOL. I almost wish it was wordplay. It always seems to be the case that when I find out where some new slang comes from, I find out I gave the people that came up with it way too much credit.


    Same here. You can watch most of the shows online anyway.

  • Pineapple

    I like “Get your life”….

  • dirtychai

    Wow. Thanks for the explanation. I keep a toolkit with a ratchet in the trunk of my car, so I was trying to figure out how it relates to ‘hood behavior. Seriously, I just didn’t get it. I was just too embarrassed to say so.

  • Courtney**

    Bonus – allow me to introduce you to a little business called “CamiCakes.” Specially, their Salted Caramel cupcake. It may not change your life, but it might change your opinion about obssessing over $4 cupcakes :-p

  • EST. 1986

    Not quite, because now, a lot of networks are requiring one to log in with their cable provider to have access to shows.

  • Mademoiselle

    Forgot one thing I REALLY hope doesn’t make it to 2013: Media (news/websites/newspapers/etc) broadcasting videos and publishing pictures of extremely violent and horrific happenings.

    I could’ve done without the image of the numerous bloody fights, or the man dangling on the tracks before being run over by a train, etc. I wish these outlets would just report the story WITH WORDS, and show still shots of the people’s faces that are involved (not the bloody still shots — I mean the pictures they scour facebook to find). I don’t need to see a hitman gunning down his victim to believe that police are looking for suspect X. Save the gruesomeness for the evidence presented to a jury (the one that sits in an actual courtroom, not the court of public opinion), please.

  • Misshightower

    Love it, NW. BTW can we stop using ethnicity as an excuse for poor grammar. Killing our kids who struggle with learning to read/speak a language (correct English) that they so often hear spoken and written incorrectly as we “keep it real.”

  • Kanyade




    ***when celebs take over social media (for profit) it takes away from the experience***


    @EST. 1986
    Oh yeah? That sucks. I don’t know what your favorite TV shows are, but I can watch mine online. Have you tried,, You can watch certain shows on For documentaries cnbc and pbs are pretty good.

  • EST. 1986

    My favorite show is BONES! That, I can watch on HULU or Fox (online and TV), but other shows I have wanted to watch required a log in. Comcast only allows a maximum of 3 and all three are being used on different devices.

  • MommieDearest

    All things Kardashian.

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